Fawn lilies, pale in the shadows of trees, open their throats
and call the bees. Bees, drunk with sleep and winter,
stagger from the hive. The hive hums with its own morning.
Spring caresses the forest lightly. If you hurry, you will see nothing
but the dark still-sleeping trunks of trees. But stop. Place your ear
to the trunk and listen. Sap thrums in its veins, singing
to the buds who hum softly as they gather their new leaves
to unfurl. And in a spot of branch-filtered sun, the first
mourning cloak butterfly fans slow wings among the fallen leaves.
You might mistake it for one of them if you didn't pause and look.
But I cannot look. Confined indoors, I miss the birthday
of the forest: the doe, licking her newborn, pressing
with her nose to balance it as it wobbles toward
its first breakfast. Picture me longing, aching; see me imagining
instead of watching, as, stepping among the white lilies
that bear its name, in a moment never to be repeated,
the newborn fawn takes its fleeting first steps.
Mary Stebbins Taitt
090419-1153-1c; 090418-1916-1st completed draft